Walt Whitman’s home wasn’t broken as a result of a divorce, the way many are broken today. His home was broken because of disability, but Whitman could easily be considered a family man, being forced to live with his immediate family well into adulthood. Whitman’s father, Walt Sr., couldn’t hold a job though he tried often. The younger Walt, the poet, would face the same difficulty as an adult, allowing his fierce – some might say ignorant – attitude to stunt business successes.
Some people, without deep psychological analysis, just seem to have legendary egos, among them Whitman. While sitting in Modern Poetry class two years ago, the whole room reflecting on “Song of Myself,” the legendary poem, one classmate offered the suggestion that Whitman was full of himself. I prefer to think Whitman was just another visionary, one who, fortunately for him, broke through the mold of your average eccentric.
Whitman put himself with nature – the universe to be more precise. Whitman wanted to relate himself to any and everything, probably coming darn close to doing so with the extensive and often amended “Leaves of Grass.” In it, Whitman is one with all. He prefers being, not to be observed. Whitman was, by most accounts, a very successful wallflower, though, like most people, he had numerous selves.
“The Making of the Poet” was good for a number of reasons. A creative writer himself, late author Paul Zweig doesn’t write with the dry language of most biographers. His writing is unique and to the point. Dare I say – He cuts the B.S. I recommend reading “Walt Whitman, The Making of a Poet” if you love Whitman. Even if you’ve just heard of him, this provides a great insight into the times that Whitman helped to produce and the chaos that has resulted within the world of American poetry since his legendary writings.